Woman who was 10 times drug drive limit jailed after police chase

Bronnagh Brannigan was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Claire Waterman was jailed for 10 months and was banned from driving for four years and five months - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A Suffolk woman who was nearly 10 times the drug drive limit when she was arrested after an 11-minute police car chase has been jailed for dangerous driving.

Sentencing Claire Waterman, who has three previous convictions for drink driving and driving while disqualified, Recorder Graham Huston described her as a danger to the public.

“Your behaviour was so dangerous that immediate custody is the only option,” said the judge.

He described the drug reading taken after her arrest as “high” and said the potential for injury to other road users during the 11-minute police chase had been “enormous”.

Waterman, 47, of Aspal Park, Beck Row, admitted dangerous driving on roads in Mildenhall and Lakenheath, drug driving, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and possession of a small amount of cocaine.

In addition to being jailed for 10 months she was banned from driving for four years and five months.

Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, said police officers on patrol on the A1101 in Mildenhall at 8.20pm on July 25 last year became suspicious after seeing Waterman’s VW Golf travelling at 30mph in a 50mph limit.

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A check revealed no driver’s details and no insurance for the car and they illuminated their blue lights in an attempt to stop the Golf.

The car initially came to a stop but then set off again towards College Heath Road with the wheels spinning, said Miss Shirley.

An 11-minute pursuit followed and when the officers attempted to arrest Waterman she resisted and had to be sprayed with an incapacitant.

Officers noticed her eyes were bloodshot and although she passed a roadside breath test a drug test showed she was nearly 10 times the limit for Benzoylecgonine, which is a compound tested for in cocaine screening.

Simon Gladwell for Waterstone said his client was disgusted at what she had done and had reached an age where she wanted to turn her life around.

He said she’d been evicted from her home and was living in short-term emergency accommodation at the time of the offence.

She’d been using cocaine because she couldn’t cope with the stress of the situation she was in and had gone out in her car with a friend to buy some more drugs when she was seen by police.

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